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Old 25-09-2019, 09:02   #46
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

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- Consider buying crampons for your boots for walking the dock. Can turn into a skating rink in some conditions and can be a real hazard. A few people each drown in the Chesapeake each winter from slipping on docks and falling in. The water is colder than you'd think.

- Keep your boat at a marina with floating docks, if possible. Trying to climb up to a fixed dock at low water when there is ice on the boat and the dock can be treacherous. Being on a fixed dock, were days during the winter when I could not leave my boat as it was simply too dangerous, despite being an able-bodied and relatively athletic person.
Also want to add to this. Most marinas are very, very quiet during the coldest months and I have not seen people or other footprints (snow) dockside for several days. One slip into cold water with some ice on top and you're done. Its good practice to wear your life jacket dockside when you're alone, there will likely be no one to come to your rescue.
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:03   #47
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

Hi
I have lived aboard for the last four winters in Delaware.
I have a Dickenson Newport diesel heater that I supplement with two ceramic tower heaters. One in the Galley area and the other in the head. I canít use electric blankets because the heaters pulled so much power I would trip breakers.
There isnít any insulation to speak of in my hull so condensation wasnít an issue for me. On cold nights I use blue painters tape to seal my companionway hatch up and put on another layer of clothing/hat/gloves. Get a nice blanket and snuggle with your partner.
I winterized my fresh water and got a gym membership to shower. (My marina was also winterized).
My bilge has a back flow stop halfway to the thru hull. If you do also, I would suggest pouring anti freeze into your bilge and filling the hose until it pumps out.
It can get cold enough to freeze The line which will be a bummer if a significant amount of water needs pumping out.
In bad weather Stay on the boat. It will help you understand what your capable of or if itís not for you.
However, Iím leaving for Florida next week. Iím tired of crappy cold winters!!
Good luck
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:11   #48
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

I did not see the answer to living aboard over the winter. As a Pacific NW boater, we lived aboard for 5 years on our sail boat. We used a Dickinson Newport, but you have to have the fan underneath to help exhaust against gusts of wind. Without that, you will have what Weebles describes. Carbon snow, not easy to clean. Besides that, kerosene is a much better fuel for these heaters than diesel, unless you enjoy de-carboning the burners regularly. But kerosene needs a day tank or other container of fuel. Now, we don't live aboard, so I remove all mattresses and upholstery, run an electric Caframo and a household size fan to circulate air. Like a frost free refrigerator, air circulation will not allow condensation to form. When we did live aboard, all mattresses sat on top of cardboard box material, cut to fit, to soften the hard temperature change from body heat to ambient. This eliminated condensation under the mattresses and upholstery. Whatever route you take, choose a larger size than required so you don't need 100% capacity at all times. Nothing is rated to operate at 100% forever.
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:13   #49
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

Hurricane Heater: ITR - International Thermal Research. Boiler, heat water, circulate around, small A-coils; small fan.
Works great. Diesel fired
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:24   #50
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
That is scary.

Many marine electrical shore power connections /fittings have very optimistic current ratings in my view.
Yeah, I don't mean it physically "flamed" though, I just noticed it was getting brown and noticed it was quite warm at the connector. Although one time it did short out and flipped the breaker. Removing the yellow cord it was black around the 3 prongs. It seemed the more it discolored, the worse it got. More resistance causes more resistance!
A 30 amp cord is maybe best for one small space heater or two on the lower setting for better heat distribution.
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:33   #51
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

we lived on a boat ( 55ft sportfish)here in norfolk for 5 years showered ate slept in the winter here the heat pumps on the boat do not do well because the water is cold we used sealed oil space heaters 3 plus( around 40 dollars each) one in the engine room and electric blanket on the bed
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:33   #52
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

Lots of good advice. We lived several years on our boat in Annapolis Winters.

1) Electric heaters.
2) Get a hot plate and do all water boiling out in the cockpit.
3) Open all ports and put clear shrink wrap in them, close the port and shrink the wrap with a hair dryer. This will keep your ports from condensing.
4) Put closed cell foam against the hull in any lockers or locations you can, quarter inch would be sufficient. Expensive for only one year but you never known.
5) Avoid having a dog on board as they add humidity like people.
6) Secure outdoor carpeting to the deck and dock where you will walk, the frost can be deadly slippery but it doesn't form on carpet.

7) Have a ladder handy if you fall in, you will have only seconds to get out.
Enjoy the beautiful winter days.
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:41   #53
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

Lived aboard in Annapolis for 3 years and ran one of those oil filled radiator looking heaters in the salon and a small 1500w ceramic one in the v-berth. Worked like a dream.
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:46   #54
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

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Hi All-
I'm new to sailing, please be gentile with me. My partner and I just bought a 1986 C&C 41 to l ... initial plans were to get to Florida starting this Fall, but we're not going to make it. So plan B is to stay in Norfolk VA -area for the winter and sail the Chessie (where I can practice) etc.

I have lots of questions, but starting with this - apparently it does get cold and even snows in Norfolk, and I've read all about condensation etc. We can't shrink wrap, so ...
I've read some forums about different options for heating, and am looking for advice here, especially given this boat and our circumstances - this is likely not our "forever boat," given that we'd planned to go back and forth between the warm South for the winter and back to New England for summer (I have some family for a couple of years anyway) - boat has 8 ft draft and tall rig - oops!
Anyway, I'd like something safe (electric space heaters out I guess?), non-invasive in terms of punching holes all over the boat (though maybe we could manage a diesel heater by using a work-around for chimney). We did purchase a small dehumidifier.

I'm very worried about mildew etc. ruining cushions, hardware, etc. inside the boat.

I'm also worried about snow and ice on the topside.

HELP!

Thanks,
Joyce
Any ABYC compliant marine heater that requires fuel combustion, must have a totally enclosed combustion chamber (ie, uses outside air for the intake, and exhaust completely outside). There is absolutely no communication between the combustion chamber and occupied space.

Beware that many "marine" heaters on the market are not ABYC compliant, and do draw air from inside the vessel. I recommend avoiding these.

So contradicting some posts here, it matters not what the source of heat is regarding condensation.

Any heat source will work just fine, if it provides sufficient BTUs to heat the space to a comfortable temp.

A lower BTU heater, will require more insulation and less infiltration to meet temperature needs.

More insulation also reduces condensation on surfaces exposed to the outdoors.

A green house on top (not necessarily shrink wrap) will also help with condensation and ease of heating.

(I recommend a full size door (for ease of access) and clear plastic on the lower portion of the greenhouse (to improve visibility out), in the greenhouse.

Laying insulated tarps on deck, will also help reduce condensation / heat loss.

Covering portlights with insulating material, will also help with condensation/heat loss, but beware making the vessel interior feel like a dungeon. (Best if these are easily removable to let natural sunlight in during the day.)

In all cases, ventilation and dehumidification needs to be addressed.

For improved ventilation, lots of fans running.

Leave all enclosed area doors or access panels open or removed, or install grills between occupied and controlled spaces.

Keep the bilge dry as a bone.

Don't use the vessel shower.

Keep the engine space warm (to avoid condensation on metal).

Put breathing grids under all cushions and mattresses.

Any heat source with a thermostatic control is ideal.

For a temporary install, with sufficient shore power (likely 2 x 30 A) 2 or 3 oil filled electric radiators work great. They have light fans built-in. Mount lots of low noise circulating fans throughout the boat.

For permanent install, with ample shore power, residential kickboard electric heaters, connected to a wall mounted thermostat are an awesome solution.

A forced air diesel heating system is great (and works when away from shore power).

If you are nervous of DIY installation of any solution, hire a pro (meaning with proper credentials, experience, and referrals, not some summer student at a yard, or some boat bum who is willing to take your money to buy more booze or drugs.)

Non-thermostatically controlled heaters should be avoided as the inside temp will never be where you want it.

PS, I consult, design, and install HVAC solutions for winter liveaboards on the north shore of Lake Ontario.
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:54   #55
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

From what I read this is a 1 winter only heating issue.
I'd make sure the 110 system is in perfect shape and replace any plugs that aren't ground fault protected.
Smart plug for sure.
2 caframos on 2nd highest setting because the thermal protectors won't last all winter on highest setting and if you only have 30 amp service they can't both be on high.
A heated mattress pad underneath the mattress will keep the mattress dry. They only take 60 watts and you only need it on for a few hours.
Ventilation is critical. Keep the hatches in the vent position all the time and open up when you cook
Reflectix cut to fit the windows will keep a lot of heat in and you can pop them off when it's sunny.
This all worked well for us on the west coast before I put in hydlronic. Where you are you might need to count on some motel time but I don't know your tolerance level.
Friends sailed to Alaska with no heaters and were happy to use their winter gear and sleepy bags.
Good luck.
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Old 25-09-2019, 10:14   #56
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

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Beware that many "marine" heaters on the market are not ABYC compliant, and do draw air from inside the vessel. I recommend avoiding these.
ABYC guidelines are not applicable for many parts of the world, but they are (mostly) sensible requirements so are worth reading no matter what jurisdiction your boat compliance is required to adhere too.

The only reference I can find prohibiting heaters from drawing air from inside the vessel concerns heaters installed in the engine and bilge space:

“Where heater is installed in an engine or bilge space, 100% fresh air shall be supplied for combustion. Heating air may be recirculated.”

Is this requirement mentioned elsewhere in the guidelines and related to heaters installed in the cabin space?
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Old 25-09-2019, 10:39   #57
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

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Beware that many "marine" heaters on the market are not ABYC compliant, and do draw air from inside the vessel. I recommend avoiding these.
That is the inherent problem with closed combustion appliances. When you use external combustion supply you then have to deal with the humidity as a separate matter as no new air is brought in. We've seen this in the last 20 years with homes. 'You have to have closed combustion air; Now you need an HRV/ERV for fresh air and humidity control; Now you need a pre-heater for the HRV/ERV to stop icing because they cant handle the humidity'. If you ventilate the boat properly and have atmospheric combustion in the cabin there is nothing wrong with running this type of appliance and it is less energy intense form of heating and doesn't necessarily require a dehumidifier, which is basically like running an air conditioning unit with a built in heater. The caveat being the possibility of flammable fumes being ingested by the appliance.
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Old 25-09-2019, 10:47   #58
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

I have a Freedom32 and live in a Norfolk marina. I've spent two years here and am leaving end of Oct. I have a large ProBreeze dehumidifier from Amazon. $80. I'm assuming your living aboard. I'm from NE originally, but have been in Fl for the past 15yrs. I hate the cold. I have three Comfort Zone heaters from Walmart $15 a piece. And they keep me comfy and warm. You may need 4 or 5 of them. I like them because I can put them anywhere I want. For instance one is for the head, one faces my v-berth and the other is for the saloon. I have never left the boat for nor'easter. Yeah, it gets bumpy, but so what, it's only a night or two.
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Old 25-09-2019, 10:58   #59
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

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Yeah, I don't mean it physically "flamed" though, I just noticed it was getting brown and noticed it was quite warm at the connector. Although one time it did short out and flipped the breaker. Removing the yellow cord it was black around the 3 prongs. It seemed the more it discolored, the worse it got. More resistance causes more resistance!
A 30 amp cord is maybe best for one small space heater or two on the lower setting for better heat distribution.

The standard shore power connectors are poorly designed. The failure mechanism is that moisture gets in, corrosion happens, then resistance goes up, then it gets very very hot. This is worsened by a very small contact area.

I've had two go up in 7 years. Every 3 to 4 years, regular as clockwork, and both times on a rainy day.

The SmartPlug design fixes all the issues. If using shore power for heating through the winter, I would strongly suggest upgrading now.

I fitted the field-installable plug to my existing shore power cord (only 3 years old), and the matching receptacle. I can turn on 30A of power, and it doesn't even get warm.

There's a write-up on the subject here :

https://marinehowto.com/shore-power-...tplug-vs-1938/
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Old 25-09-2019, 11:31   #60
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Re: Heating our sailboat this winter in VA - HELP!

Having lived aboard in Toronto for 5 winters. I can tell you the first thing you want is to be able to retain as much heat as you can. A C&C 41 is going to be hard as it has a liner so you can't get to alot of the hull, but on the plus side its balsa cored so it will help reduce condensation as it has a bit of insulation naturally! Condensation is a bigger issue on single skin hulls. ( been there!)

Reflectix (bubblefoil\mylar insulation) helps alot or EVA foam tiles glued to the hull helps. Without some form of shrink wrap you're going to lose alot of heat and wake up to the under decks covered in frost/condensation. If you can get a good clear shrinkwrap done. It's the most effective thing you can do for heat.

Separate heat sources are important as power failures do occur (and keep the diesel tanks topped up. Running out sucks! ask me how I know)

Dry heat is important. I ran with a Dickinson and it was great! good long flue helps a lot, never had it backdraft! and make sure you have enough amperage. I never ran my electric heaters on high, just low or med. Baseboard type heaters are the best they can run all night.

your mattresses will need maintenance (airing out during the day) as humans produce a lot of water vapour even when sleeping! Air flow under the mattress is a must!
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